The Link Between Tooth Decay and Diabetes Explored

More than 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Today, about one-third of the Americans suffer from this serious health condition. The findings of recent research studies point to the fact that majority of the people that suffer from diabetes have periodontal problems.

So is there a close link between tooth decay and diabetes? Should you be worried about diabetes if you experience tooth decay? Is it a one-way or a two-way problem?  We will look at the answers to all these questions and more in this article.

Tooth Decay and Diabetes: A Close Look

Tooth decay is common in patients suffering from type-2 diabetes. Several possible explanations are put forward by medical experts for the link between the two health conditions. Tooth decay develops due to the interaction between plaque bacteria with sugars. Since, diabetic individuals have high blood sugar levels, they are more prone to periodontal diseases.  

People with diabetes are at a high risk of developing gingivitis and other serious gum diseases. They are more susceptible to bacterial infection and reduced ability to fight off the invasion of bacteria inside the gums.

However, emerging research studies have found that tooth decay is not a one problem. In other words, not only people suffering from diabetes are prone to develop tooth decay, but those that have tooth problems can develop diabetes. Gum diseases have been found to affect the blood glucose level in the body. This contributes to the development of diabetes in individuals.  

So, it’s essential that you maintain good oral health. Poor dental hygiene will increase the blood sugar control problem causing serious health problems.

How to Maintain Good Dental Hygiene

Tooth diseases are preventable if you follow good dental practices. The gum diseases develop when the bacteria inside the teeth harden into tartar, which can only be cleaned by a dental professional. Accumulation of tartar inside the mouth can lead to gum inflammation, bleeding, swelling, and bad breath. What’s even worse is that the bacteria that are present in the tartar will break down the surrounding bone of the teeth due to which your teeth will break out and fall.

Brushing and flossing should be done regularly to avoid development of plaque inside the teeth. Make sure that you brush for at least two to three minutes two times every day. In addition, you should visit a dentist twice a year for a dental checkup and cleaning.  

To reduce the risk of tooth decay, it’s also important that you keep sugary snacks to a minimum. Also, food items that dry out your mouth should be limited. Some of the food items that you should limit include carbonated soft drinks, alcohol, sweets and candies. Limiting the intake of these food items will not only prevent tooth decay but reduce the risk of developing diabetes as well.

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